Calculating for Combined Incomes
The formula calculates support for combined incomes of up to $15,000 per month. If the combined income exceeds that sum, the court can determine if child support payments should be higher than the standard schedule, based on income determinations and the needs of the children, including the children’s lifestyle before the divorce.
Making & Modifying Your Own Arrangements
Parents can also negotiate a child support arrangement outside the formula and submit it to the court for approval. The court will base its final decision on what is in the best interests of the child and whether the arrangement addresses those interests.
You can request a child support modification from the court if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order became effective, such as changes in income, time spent with the child, or changes in the child’s needs. Modifications to existing agreements cannot be made retroactively. Parents should request a modification as circumstances change.
How Shared Parenting
Arrangements Affect Support
The calculation is based on the typical 70-90 overnight visits a child spends with a noncustodial parent during the course of a year. If parents share custody and the child’s time with the noncustodial parent exceeds that amount, a more complicated formula is used to reflect that additional time and the noncustodial parent’s “credit” for such time.
In the case of split custody, meaning each parent has primary custody of one or more of the children, each parent’s financial responsibility is calculated on its own. An offset is then made, meaning the parent paying the lessor support obligation would pay the other parent the difference.
Enforcement of Child Support Agreements
Parents are required by law to abide by the court-ordered agreement and child support enforcement is a serious legal matter.
Payments are typically made by an assignment of the payor’s income, such as a garnishment. The sum is withheld from the payor’s paycheck and submitted to the state’s Centralized Support Registry and then forwarded to the custodial parent. Some parents may agree to payments via other methods, such as cash, check, bank transfers, or payment platforms.
A parent who does not pay the child support judgment can be sanctioned or fined by the court or lose driving privileges or professional licenses.
The Importance of an Attorney
Even with a basic child support formula, the calculation of actual support can be quite complicated. An experienced child support attorney can help. Child support is awarded to the children — not to the custodial parent. Whether you will be paying child support or receiving it on behalf of your children, their best interests should be paramount.